New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
In 1998, New Entry was launched by The Friedman School in order to develop a cost-effective strategy to integrate recent immigrants and refugees with farming backgrounds into Massachusetts agriculture. In 2007, New Entry conducted a broad environmental analysis of the burgeoning food movement and expanded its target audience to beginning farmers of all backgrounds with a desire to grow food to create a resilient local food economy. The initiative was developed as a broad partnership and since its inception, New Entry has fostered collaborative partnerships with farm organizations, community groups and academic institutions to expand our capacity to address a broad range of issues related to beginning farming. New Entry has expanded its programs over the years to a point where today we serve local, statewide, and national audiences through comprehensive farmer training and technical assistance, land access, and direct market support programs; facilitation of collaborative partnerships; and national technical assistance and resource sharing with other beginning farmer organizations. As a result of fifteen years of work, lives have changed as people connect to the land and produce culturally preferred food important to their communities and their health; more regional farmland has been maintained in sustainable, active agricultural production; the agricultural community has welcomed diverse members of society into the farming sector; partnerships between service providers have strengthened; and economically diverse communities have greater access to locally grown food. The project continues to be an integral part of Friedman's academic program, providing opportunities for student involvement via internships, directed study, and research, while Agriculture, Food, and Environment faculty foster curriculum connections in class discussions, coursework, and hands-on laboratories in the fields.